It’s no secret that we are referred to as the silent ranks and while we do not wear a uniform, we still serve, just in a different way than how our spouses serve. May is Military Appreciation Month and to continue the celebration, I would like to point out several wonderful things about us as military spouses.
The Chameleon Effect
I like to think of a military spouse as a chameleon because we are extremely adaptable and flexible, and are always changing. Every new place entails a new job, a new neighborhood, a new set of friends, a new chain of command, and we basically start over. Without being adaptable and flexible, none of this would happen but we manage to do this over and over again and we get better at doing this over time.
We are inspirational. Just as our soldiers make sacrifices, so do we. In order to be with the one we love, we often times put our dreams and careers on hold. We might pursue them once again, but several years down the road. It’s difficult to continue to have the drive, passion, and determination to continue with those dreams, but we don’t give up! I personally find it inspiring when I see this within our military spouse community.
We manage to push forward when all we really want to do is take a little bit of time for ourselves, but the world does not stop turning just because we need a break. So what do we do? We keep moving forward all while wearing a smile on our face.
A House Is Not A Home If…
We can make any house a home and do this with every move. We have become skilled decorators because our furniture never quite fits in the next house the same way as the last house and we make do with what we have. That takes a certain level of creativity and self discipline because let’s face it, it would be so much easier just to go buy new things – but that doesn’t make sense from a financial standpoint. Besides, we are always up for a good game of Tetris, right?!
Yes We Are Dependents But…
Although we are referred to as “dependents” we are some of the most independent individuals society will ever meet. We have dealt with life or death situations, emergencies, and major life events alone. We take whatever job we can find and are often underemployed, but that’s ok because we are still putting food on the table and are thankful to be working. We have no choice but to be independent given this lifestyle.
We know how the make the best of every situation. We’ve all had to this with a nightmare move to a less than desirable duty station. We also do this with deployments, being away from family, and at times, living off of one income. Rather than complaining about this, we do the best we can and make it work.
Top Notch Organizational Skills
We have all of our ducks in a row with legal and financial matters and know exactly where every document is located as well as how and where every dollar is spent. How many people do you know that can actually admit to that?
Stars and Spangles
We are truly moved when we hear the National Anthem, get teary eyed, and break out in goose bumps, even if it is 100 degrees outside. It’s fine if others look at you and wonder if you’re OK. They obviously have not been in the same shoes!
Tough as Nails When Need Be
Don’t be fooled by us being easily moved though, we certainly do have nerves of steel. What others might view as being impossible, we go out achieve “the impossible” and we do not get discouraged easily. While the world around us seems to be falling apart and then you wonder if the day can get any worse (and it does), we manage to pull it together and come out on top. It’s as if we have some sort of super power inner strength.
The Struggle Is Real But…
We can successfully manage our soldier being away in the field or on a deployment while our non-military friends might struggle from being away from their husbands for a weekend. We somehow manage not to hurt their feelings by not feeling sorry for them because that seems too easy.
We truly have a sense of urgency and get tasks completed on time because we understand that you cannot be late and that there are not any do overs. We can also multi task better than any Corporate America CEO, and we do this without an assistant.
A Friend Near or Far
We have friends all over the place and have learned that it really is a small world when we run into them again one day and pick up where we left off. With this being said, we have learned to eliminate the word “goodbye” from our vocabulary and have replaced it with “see you later”.
Being a military spouse also means that we have multiple roles and we have come to learn these roles to be a part of daily life and they seem like second nature. But let’s not underestimate ourselves or downplay just how wonderful we all! While it is appreciated to have a day or a month dedicated to this, I feel that overall these things are not acknowledged enough.
So just in case you haven’t heard it in a while, thank you for being an awesome military spouse!
Angelique is a proud Army wife and happily married to her husband, Ray. After being PCS’ed from one side of the country to the other, Ft. Bragg, NC, is currently home. She has a degree in Counseling and a career background in Corporate Human Resources. She is an advocate for animal rights and enjoys supporting military and environmental causes. She is an accomplished flute player of 23 years and in her spare time she enjoys crafting, decorating, genealogy, travelling, watching horrible B rated movies, and is obsessed with anything pertaining to Disney. She and Ray are the proud pet parents of two dogs, Maddie and Ringo.
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